In a hunter education class in the late 1970s, I was told that #1 buck was the ideal load for the 12 gauge as far as buckshot-required deer hunting was concerned.
I've tried #1 buck in any number of shotguns since then. I have yet to find a barrel/choke that will give me a decent pattern with #1 buck. I'm told they're out there, but I have yet to run across one.
Meanwhile patterns with 00 buck over the years have gone from acceptable to incredible. There's still some Remington #1 buck loads in the MISC BUCK ammo can just in case, left over from buying out an end-of-season supply at a big box sporting goods store several years ago, and I'm still looking...
Mindset - Skillset - Toolset. In that order!
Attitude and skill will get you through times of no gear, better than gear will get you through times of no attitude and no skill.